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IRS Federal Income Tax Form 1040A

tax form 1040aThe IRS form 1040A is one of the three forms you can use when filing your federal taxes. While it is longer than and more complex than form 1040EZ, it is shorter and simpler than form 1040.

To use this tax form you must not have a taxable income that exceeds $100,000 and you must claim the standard deduction instead of itemizing your deductions.

Where to Get a 1040a Tax Form

Form 1040a TurboTax  (Recommended for easiest filing)

Form 1040a IRS

Instructions IRS

Filing Status and Exemptions

You must list out your exemptions and select your filing status before moving on to report your income. This is because each filing status has a different tax bracket for calculating your income.

The good news is your filing status doesn’t affect your exemption amount for yourself and your dependents. Exemptions work like deductions, which mean they reduce your taxable income. Therefore, the more exemptions you have the more your taxable income is reduced, which means the lower your tax liability will be. The top section of the form also includes a section for you to list the name, social security number, and relationship of all of the dependents you are claiming on the form.

Allowable Income on Form 1040A

You can only report specific types of income on this tax form. You are only allowed to include wages, salaries and tips, interest and dividend income, capital gains, IRS, pension and annuity distributions, unemployment compensation, Alaska permanent fund dividends, and social security benefits. Any other type of income, such as self-employment income, must be reported, but you are required to file the full-length form 1040.

Once you have reported all of your income, you will then be able to claim specific adjustments to get to your adjusted gross income (AGI). Some of these deductions include educator expenses, IRA contributions, student loan interest and tuition payments.

Reporting Tax, Credits and Payments on Form 1040A

The second page of this tax form is where you deduct the standard deduction and your exemption allowances from your AGI to get your taxable income. After this, it is time to determine how much you owe in taxes by finding the correct range for your taxable income and filing status using the tax tables in the instructions.

When you have determined your tax, you will then claim limited tax credits that you qualify for. Some of the allowable tax credits include child and dependent care expenses, the credit for the elderly or disabled and education tax credits. These credits reduce your taxes owed by the dollar. Once this is done you then can lower the number even more by subtracting the tax payments you already made during the year via withholdings from your employer.

When to Use Tax Form 1040A – TurboTax Video

The Difference between Form 1040A and Form 1040

While the filing status and exemption section on the two forms are similar there are differences between these two forms. For example, 1040A is much shorter than the standard 1040 form since you can only report a limited amount of income and make a limited amount of adjustments to your income. The main difference is form 1040A doesn’t allow you to itemize your deductions, but form 1040 does.

Why File with TurboTax?

When you file and prepare your federal taxes with TurboTax, you do not need to know tax forms or tax laws. They ask you simple questions, fill in the correct form, and do all of the mathematical calculations for you.

They even have a free tax refund calculator available that allows you to know the amount of money that you will be getting back in your tax refund. Their online filing services has the ability to import your W2 information into your tax return so you can avoid worrying about your forms being delivered via snail mail.